Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Review of Warning, the story of Cyclone Tracy

Warning, The Story of Cyclone TracyWarning, The Story of Cyclone Tracy by Sophie Cunningham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book acknowledges the Northern Territory Archives as being key to it being able to be written. This comes through the body of the book as well as the acknowledgements. It also highlights collecting by other organisations, including the recording of oral histories.

This book shows the value of different methods of research, archives, libraries and interviews. While it includes some personal elements from the author (of her memories and experiences), these do not overwhelm the accounts of what happened in Darwin, rather they help to position them. Similarly references to other disasters are used to make specific points about Cyclone Tracey and the aftermath. This book is a reminder of much discrimination, towards indigenous people and women (and while there have been changes, these have not passed).

Good discussion of the effects of climate change is also used as part of this book.

The personal stories of how people experienced the cyclone are very powerful. This was a powerful book to read, the cyclone accounts are vivid, as are the descriptions of the aftermath (including the politics).

This book highlights the importance of collecting current events. What collecting was done post Cyclone Yasi, the widespread rain and hail in April 2015 in NSW and the Christmas Day fires in Victoria 2015? This is important collecting for public libraries for their local studies collections for local research, but also to enable people to draw information from different events together (as was done in this book). The collections available for this writer show the importance of collecting soon after the event (obviously in a sensitive /appropriate/representative/inclusive way) as well as collecting after time has lapsed.

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